November 29, 2012


There is something so wonderful about sitting with a group of friends and talking. It doesn't matter if the discussion is being led, or if it comes and goes as the group wills it; what matters is that we are gathered together in this time, at this place. What matters is the moment and the community.
A while ago I joined a knitting group. The group meets in a coffee shop on Wednesday nights for three hours, talking and laughing and enjoying the time away. Many of the group are young mothers; some have demanding jobs. It was clear to me from the start that most of the members of this group came to knitting as an escape, an away place, a time where things were different.
I came to the group for similar reasons. Being in seminary while working in a church means that almost all the time you are surrounded by one type of person: religion geeks. And that is exhausting. And so I came to that group on Wednesday nights to escape my real life and be with people who did not talk about church.
It was a different kind of community for me. These women were so varied, ao different, yet they shared a commonality in their love of fiber arts. The group gave me a space to find myself, to find my identity outside the student, the youth minister, the preacher. I was able to find my identity as a knitter.
I believe it is important that we make room for community time jn our lives. Not just the communities we are a part of every day, but communities that are made up of different kinds of people. In my knitting group I was able to meet people whose lives were drastically different than mine, and I could appreciate them for those differences. I was able to see beyond my church and school walls to the world outside. And none of this would have happened without my knitting.
Knitting allowed me to connect with these women, to find a point of familiarity and engage in conversation. And from conversation about projects and yarn and technique, we were able to move forward to conversations about favorite movies, family, and more. From such a simple starting place, we were able to connect and create a community.

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